Belfast Telegraph

No shower, late papers... what irked the inmates

By Lauren Harte

An inmate on a dirty protest was not offered a shower before attending a court date, the Prisoner Ombudsman was told.

Dissident republicans have opposed strip searches at HMP Maghaberry by smearing excrement over their cells.

As a result the Ombudsman recommended that policy should be updated to provide that prisoners engaged in the protest should be offered a shower before a court appearance, or any activity outside the prison.

Another grievances included an officer being accused of spraying an inmate with air freshener.

And one prisoner complained three times that his daily newspaper was a day late - but was told this was due to staff shortages.

An inmate held at Magilligan lodged a complaint that he was unable to access a Gamblers Anonymous (GA) programme.

This led to the introduction of a pilot scheme allowing prisoners to enrol for a monthly GA class and arrange follow-up appointments.

A male complained about a missing watch which was later tracked down and returned, while another alleged that he had been assaulted by staff, although no evidence was found to uphold the complaint.

Prisoners also complained that they were locked in a washing area for more than eight hours and not offered food, water or a return to their cell.

Another complaint included an allegation that during a full body search a prisoner's back was injured. The prisoner also alleged that after the search was complete he did not receive any help to get off the floor and get dressed.

Belfast Telegraph

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